Disorderly conduct, trespassing, unlawful assembly, and obstructing the legal process charges have now been brought against protesters at the Mall of America. Keller Law Offices blogged about this issue back in December 2014 and the case has just recently been back in the news. All charges are misdemeanors. The penalty for a misdemeanor charge is up to 90 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine. The Bloomington city attorney and protesters have been all over the news again this week. There were 3,000 protesters at the Mall of America back in December during a busy shopping day. It has come to light that at least 10 people have now been charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing, unlawful assembly, and obstructing the legal process.
In December 2014, police told protesters that they could not gather at the mall and that they were not allowed to be there. They were told that the Mall of America is a private entity. Stores were shut down during the protest. Protesters were outraged when they heard they might be criminally charged. A warning sign was put on a screen at the mall telling the protestors to disperse and that failure to disperse will lead to arrests. The warning was also broadcasted over speakers. The city attorney is trying to get restitution for money lost by the stores at the mall and overtime for the police department’s time. The Bloomington city attorney states that it cost $30,000 for overtime and added security. Now that protesters have been charged with Disorderly conduct, trespassing, unlawful assembly, and obstructing the Bloomington City attorney’s office have received a large amount of negative publicity.
100 religious leaders have asked for the charges to be dismissed. Professors and researchers have reached out to get the charges dropped. 117 academics signed a letter to the Bloomington City attorney to drop the charges. The letter states disappointment and states that it’s an added obstacle to a more peaceful and just society. 24 people were actually arrested and ten people have now been charged. It is unknown at this time whether more protesters will be charged. One of the protesters who was charged is a University of St. Thomas professor. The letter also states that it is a “political persecution” and a “gross misuse of prosecutorial discretion.” The Bloomington city attorney stated that it would violate her oath of office if she didn’t press charges. The Bloomington City attorney is not backing down with charges despite the signed letter and negative publicity. Many of the protestors will be back in court on March 10, 2015 in the Southdale Court in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
If you have been charged with a crime as a result of a protest, contact Keller Law Offices immediately. Keller Law Offices has two criminal justice attorneys. A criminal justice attorney will be able to fight the charges against you. The criminal justice attorneys have handled disorderly conduct, trespassing, unlawful assembly, and obstructing the legal process cases in the past. Call 952-913-1421 for a free consultation. Keller Law Offices is located downtown Minneapolis, MN and offer payment plans in most cases. Keller Law Offices will take the charges seriously and are ready to take the case to trial if needed.
There are a number of defenses to these crimes and many ways to keep misdemeanor charges from going on your record. Do not go into court without an experienced criminal justice attorney. Do not go in and plead guilty without first seeking legal advice from a criminal justice attorney. Please take a look at Keller Law Offices’s website at www.kellerlawofficse.com. Phones calls and e-mails are answered 24/7.